By Kaya 959 News
Attacks against members of the LGBTQ+ have once again been highlighted after Khayelitsha woman, Phelokazi Ndlwana was stabbed and killed.
According to her family, 24-year-old Ndlwana was killed for living openly as a lesbian.
Police confirmed that a 39-year-old man has been arrested in connection with Ndlwana’s death.
SAPS spokesperson, Andre Traut said Khayelitsha police received a call to attend a crime scene that took place in Mzoxolo Street.
“On their arrival they were directed by the community to the body of a female who succumbed to death of what appeared to be stab wounds to the chest area. Police detectives followed up on leads that they received and later arrested a suspect who is currently in custody,” he said.
Just days before Ndlwana’s murder, Lonwabo Jack, aged 22, was killed. According to reports, a 17-year-old was arrested.
DA Western Cape Spokesperson on Community Safety, Reagen Allen, said they condemn the murder.
The Democratic Alliance in the Western Cape condemns the suspected hate crime.
“It has been reported that in the Western Cape, along with Gauteng, Eastern Cape and KwaZulu Natal, six individuals of the LGBTQ+ community have been murder victims, and this all took place over just the last two months.
“I will therefore enquire through the provincial Department of Community Safety to SAPS, if there has been a notable spike in specific areas over recent periods,” he said.
Hate crime regulations needed
Allen said it is highly unfortunate that hate crimes have not been defined through legislation yet.
“The ANC at both central government and in the National Assembly has dragged its feet in the provision of such regulation. As legislators, we must do more to see such legislation through and to prevent these horrific crimes in our society. Without this in place, we fail to send a strong signal of support to sexual minorities, fail to institutionalise special support to victims via the police and criminal justice system, and the government fails as a whole to keep all residents safe,” he added.
Chairperson of the COGTA Portfolio Committee, Gcinikhaya Mpumza, said they have noted the rise of gender-based violence, femicide and violence towards LGBTQ+ persons in traditional communities.
He said the committee has been briefed by the Department of Traditional Affairs on its 2021/2022 Annual Performance Plan with states that South Africa’s eight houses of traditional leaders will receive training to raise awareness of gender-based violence and femicide.
Increase in premeditated murders
According to The Gay And Lesbian Alliance Of South Africa, there’s been an increase in premeditated murders targeting members of the LGBTIQ+ community.
Glasa said the true extent of crimes against LGBTIQ+ persons cannot be measured because SAPS does not record the cases as hate crimes.
Glasa’s Frank Gazu said there will be more reliable statistical data in South African once SAPS starts to record hate crimes committed due to the victim’s sexual orientation and / or gender identity.
In a statement posted on Freedom Day, Glasa said there is a need for a coordinated approach in handling queer issues with the LGBTQ+ community.
“The recent murders of LGBTIQ+ citizens shows the still extent gap between law and social change. The history of our jurisdiction underlines the slippage between legislation and values in society. Tardy police investigat and unenthusiastic prosecution belie legal commitments and equality,” the organisation said.